Radiation Therapy Treatment

Tasmanian Health Service - Northern Region

Once the treatment plan has been completed and approved by the Radiation Oncologist a treatment time will be determined and the patient will be advised of the appointment time to commence treatment.

The patient will be called from the waiting room by a radiation therapist and be given a gown to wear. The radiation therapist will explain the treatment procedure and advise where to keep the gown throughout the treatment course.

The patient will be taken to the treatment room, which looks somewhat similar to the simulator room. Radiation therapists will position the patient on the bed and  use the lines on the head cast or tiny tattoos, along with the lasers to straighten the patient and locate the treatment centre. All the measurements taken from the simulation session will be checked and the couch will be positioned under the treatment machine so as to deliver the treatment.  

When everything is ready the radiation therapists will leave the room. There are closed circuit TV cameras and an intercom system in the room so that the patient can communicate with the radiation therapists if required.

During treatment delivery the machine head will move around the patient, stopping to deliver treatment from different angles. During this time the patient is required to lie still for about ten minutes while the treatment is completed. The machine does not touch the patient and the patient does not feel anything during the treatment. The experience is similar to having an X-ray but lasts a bit longer. The buzzing of the machine and a red light that comes on inside the treatment room indicate to the patient that their treatment is being delivered.

When the treatment is complete the radiation therapists will reenter the room to get the patient down from the treatment machine and assist them off the bed. Some patients will only have one treatment and others will have 35 or more scheduled over many weeks.

On the first day of treatment the patient is given a list of all their appointment times and will be seen by one of the radiation therapy nurses where they discuss the managment of treatment and any possible side effects. They are also able to respond to any questions.

The treatment will be the same each day, however, due to the maintenance of the machines and the occasional breakdown the patient may need to be treated on another treatment machine. Although there may be differences in the appearance of the machine, or the methods used in the treatment room, there will be no difference in the radiation treatment.

Throughout the course of radiation therapypatients may have appointments to see their doctor, a dietician and/or a social worker. At any time the patient should feel free to discuss any concerns with their radiation therapists.

Once the treatment plan has been completed and approved by the Radiation Oncologist a treatment time will be determined and the patient will be advised of the appointment time to commence treatment.

The patient will be called from the waiting room by a radiation therapist and be given a gown to wear. The radiation therapist will explain the treatment procedure and advise where to keep the gown throughout the treatment course.

The patient will be taken to the treatment room, which looks somewhat similar to the simulator room. Radiation therapists will position the patient on the bed and use the lines on the head cast or tiny tattoos, along with the lasers to straighten the patient and locate the treatment centre. All the measurements taken from the simulation session will be checked and the couch will be positioned under the treatment machine so as to deliver the treatment. 

When everything is ready the radiation therapists will leave the room. There are closed circuit TV cameras and an intercom system in the room so that the patient can communicate with the radiation therapists if required.

During treatment delivery the machine head will move around the patient, stopping to deliver treatment from different angles. During this time the patient is required to lie still for about ten minutes while the treatment is completed. The machine does not touch the patient and the patient does not feel anything during the treatment. The experience is similar to having an X-ray but lasts a bit longer. The buzzing of the machine and a red light that comes on inside the treatment room indicate to the patient that their treatment is being delivered.

When the treatment is complete the radiation therapists will reenter the room to get the patient down from the treatment machine and assist them off the bed. Some patients will only have one treatment and others will have 35 or more scheduled over many weeks.

On the first day of treatment the patient is given a list of all their appointment times and will be seen by one of the radiation therapy nurses where they discuss the managment of treatment and any possible side effects. They are also able to respond to any questions.

The treatment will be the same each day, however, due to the maintenance of the machines and the occasional breakdown the patient may need to be treated on another treatment machine. Although there may be differences in the appearance of the machine, or the methods used in the treatment room, there will be no difference in the radiation treatment.

Throughout the course of radiation therapypatients may have appointments to see their doctor, a dietician and/or a social worker. At any time the patient should feel free to discuss any concerns with their radiation therapists.